On the way home from lunch yesterday, Morrison and I drove by some newly built, pretty rad looking condos for sale, and decided to casually pop into the open house, in a very low-stakes and Sunday sort of way. What followed was THE TWO OF US STOMPING AROUND THE BEAUTIFUL BRAND NEW PERECT AND AMAZING PLACE LIKE CHILDREN, HEARTS PALPITATING AS WE DISCOVERED EVEN MORE CLOSETS AND BATHROOMS AND A MYRIAD OF SINKS, excitedly declaring where we could put things like babies and desks. And turns out, we might actually be able to afford it. We were planning on staying put in our place for a while, but a casual look at a vacant spot has turned into an all out fantasy of dinner parties and balcony and (small, but adorable) yard. Who knows if it’s actually practical, financially and life-wise, and we are still investigating. Stay tuned to find out if we are people who buy property after looking at it for five minutes. (Maybe. But also maybe not.) WEEEE!
I was re-reading the Boxcar Children last night, like you do. I came across the part where the kids find the old broken dishes in the dump, take them home, clean them off, create a quick makeshift shelf in their boxcar, and arrange their new dishes on the shelf so that the boxcar might feel like home:
And it filled me with SUCH FEELING. I remember reading this part for the first time years and years ago. I remember how it made me long for a house with shelves that I could arrange things on. And I realize, that perhaps every time I can’t leave my house without making my bed or every time I put flowers on the table or stack dishes accordingly, and then do this psycho thing where I just kind of pause and look at the Order, appeased, I am living out this very boxcar children moment over and over.
I’ve been playing this drama play writing game for some time now, and have, at this point, received a fair number of reviews. I’ve never been much of a critical darling, so I figured that I’d share some advice on how to read and process reviews of ones own work.
1.) A review is one person’s attempt to interpret and assign meaning to a piece of art, which is basically impossible. It’s a moving target. There is no one answer. So it’s all an attempt. Your work is an attempt, as is theirs.
2.) Even if the review is unfavorable, you cannot let it detract from how YOU feel about your work. You have to approach your work with at least SOME confidence, some solid command of what you are intending to say. It can’t be fragile, or a review will easily knock it down. If this happens — revisit what you meant to do in the first place, and think about how to make it stronger.
3.) A reviewer is a human being engaged in their own life, stepping into your life, just for a minute. You must take whatever they have to say in the context of their own life, which again, is not yours.
4.) A review should not affect how you perceive your own work.
5.) JUST KIDDING THEY ARE EVERYTHING EVERYTHING THEY SAY ABOUT YOU IS RIGHT AND SHOULD BE INTERNALIZED AND THOUGHT ABOUT OVER AND OVER UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT EXACTLY HOW TO FIX THE FLAWS IN YOUR OWN WORK TO THE LIKING OF AFOREMENTIONED CRITIC AND IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT WELL YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST QUIT AND WORK AT A YOGURT STORE
6.) I would actually really enjoy working at a yogurt store
I always wondered when I might have a day that I am actually so engaged in my actual life that I COMPLETELY FORGET TO BLOG. It’s embarrassing to admit but it truly shoots through my brain as soon as I wake up, what to blog about today? Today that did not happen. I joined a gazillion other Americans in a beautiful, peaceful march up to Trump Towers, I saw a beautiful, life-affirming musical with two of my favorite gals, and then saw a performance of a play that I wrote. I was, in fact, so engaged in my own life, that I had nothing to say. And I still don’t. Happy, today, to be alive, and able to march and watch and write things at all.
The Kilroys went on a retreat this weekend to a giant golf resort / conference center in the City of Industry, which is an actual name of a place about 20 miles outside of LA. We picked it at random, but little did we know that it was the perfect place for gathering and scheming up plans for the coming years (hot tub / chocolate fountain / two weddings / one child’s math competition). What do thirteen lady theater nerds need nightly? A safe place to sing, by which I mean, a DEEPLY SERIOUS KARAOKE NIGHT HELD IN A CONFERENCE ROOM FEATURING PEOPLE IN THEIR 60S WITH STUNNING VOICES THAT CLEARLY COME TO THIS CONFERENCE ROOM EVERY WEEKEND TO BELT OUT UNCHAINED MELODY AND ALSO THE THEME TO LOVE BOAT. We sang not one, not two, but approximately thirty songs, a decent split between musical theater, Alanis, and completely unrecognizable but very personal numbers. We were at first met with trepidation, but eventually welcomed into the fold of regulars, until that time Sheila accidentally scratched one of them with her shoe while line dancing, at which point we could have been kicked out, but then someone revealed we were TV writers, and suddenly, we were heroes, not activists, per se, just girls who used to sing in closets, and then cars, and now, in conference rooms. Also we made plans for the future. That, too. We need movements for gender parity now more than ever. STAY TUNED…..
While these beautiful people did not necessarily win the golden prize:
Fun was, in fact, had by all, writers included. We got to gussy up:
And stumble around the giant mall slash famous people prom,
In a beautiful evening that Morrison Keddie, love of my life for his honesty and instantaneous handsomeness, described as ’85% annoying.’
There’s a delightful new show on the CW, No Tomorrow, which is NOT, as its poster MIGHT suggest, about a girl who considers cannibalism, but instead about a risk-averse young woman, prone to living her life safely (I perhaps relate,) whose world is turned upside down when she falls for a bearded Brit who thinks the world is going to end in 8 months when an asteroid slams into the earth. And so, he teaches her to live life more fully. It’s charming and winning and hilarious, and I repeat, NOT ABOUT A GIRL WHO WANTS TO EAT A BOY’S FACE. SERIOUSLY SOMEONE IN MARKETING AT CW NEEDS TO NOT BE FIRED PER SE BUT DEFINITELY PERHAPS A STERN TALKING TO.
One of my favorite things about Thailand was Gae, our guide for the bike tour / cave hike. We’d been in Thailand for about four days at that point, and all the Thai people we encountered spoke little to no English. Enter Gae, married to an American, nearly fluent in English, with a LIMITLESS AND INFECTIOUS ENERGY, SOMEHOW NEVER SWEATY, and lastly, with a deep love of selfies:
I was able to ask her all the questions that had been accumulating in my mind about everything from Thailand’s monks to the Burmese people to how Shrimp happen. In turn, she kept taking pictures of us like we were famous people. HEY LOVE BIRDS! GO OVER THERE! SIT THERE, IN LOVE! She’d say, and point her phone at us. LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!
Once satisfied: OKAY, WE GOT IT!
Dreamt I was writing in a beautiful green meadow, with a pencil in a clean white college ruled notebook. I was JOURNALING, even, writing towards figuring out exactly what it is that’s blocking me from becoming the best person and writer I possibly can be. After a page of writing, I arrived at it. The very thing that I needed to confront. The one thing that needed fixing. I stared at it there on the page, circled and underlined it, felt sort of free, and ready to fix. So what is it? What is the thing? NOPE. NO CAN DO. DON’T REMEMBER EVEN AT ALL.
LET’S JUST SAY COMPLETELY HYPOTHETICAL FOR EXAMPLE THAT YOU’RE GOING ON YOUR HONEYMOON WHICH ONLY HAPPENS ONCE IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU PLANNED IT MONTHS AGO AND NOW SUDDENLY TIME HAS MOVED AND YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LEAVE TONIGHT. And maybe you just realized a few weeks ago that your destination of choice, Bali, is in fact enduring its ‘wet season’ during your visit month of choice, and then maybe you look at the forecast seconds before you leave and discover that it’s basically going to look like this the entire time:
And you feel dumb. You also feel disappointed. BUT ALSO YOU FEEL RESOURCEFUL. Also you know how to use the internet. Also you have a husband who is patient and less neurotic, and also you’ve been paid handsomely for your work, as of late. WHY BE PAID HANDSOMELY, IF AT ALL, IF YOU DON’T EVERY NOW AND THEN, LIGHT A LITTLE BIT OF IT ON FIRE TO LAST MINUTE CHANGE YOUR TRIP TO THIS INSTEAD?
PS, we’re off to Hua Hin, Thailand, instead, BECAUSE B.
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